Whenever an actor is cast in a Star Wars movie, the rumor mill instantly starts whirring away with fan theories about who they might be playing rattling out by the dozen. The same thing happened when J.J. Abrams cast Keri Russell, who made her name on the Abrams-produced TV dramedy Felicity, to play a character in The Rise of Skywalker, his upcoming conclusion to the entire Star Wars saga.
It was recently confirmed that Russell’s character would be called Zorri Bliss, and a photo of Russell in the character’s neat costume was revealed. Here are 10 Fan Theories About Keri Russell’s Rise Of Skywalker Character.
10 Palpatine’s apprentice
If Palpatine has been alive all this time, as is hinted by Ian McDiarmid’s laugh appearing at the end of The Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer, then he’s probably been training a new apprentice. Snoke had already taken Ben Solo, so Palpatine needed someone else to mentor and guide towards the Dark Side to do his bidding.
His new apprentice could be Zorri Bliss, Keri Russell’s character. There’s an unfortunate lack of female villains in the Star Wars universe – and now that Captain Phasma is dead, there are literally no female villains left in the sequel trilogy – so Russell could fill that void.
9 A bounty hunter
We haven’t seen any bounty hunters in Disney’s sequel trilogy to the Star Wars saga yet, which is a shame, because bounty hunters have always been one of the most prominent (and awesome) elements of this franchise. Even the prequels gave us Jango Fett and Zam Wesell. So, it’s about time we got some bounty hunters in the sequels.
The closest we’ve gotten so far is Captain Phasma, but she’s just a Stormtrooper (and she’s dead). Keri Russell’s cool helmet and costume as the character Zorri Bliss, as well as her description as a “female scoundrel,” have led some fans to believe that she’ll be a bounty hunter in the film.
8 Ahsoka Tano
This was Kevin Smith’s leading fan theory. Not only did he think that Keri Russell was playing an older, live-action version of Ahsoka Tano from the Star Wars animated universe, he thought Ahsoka would also turn out to be Rey’s mom.
While the name Zorri Bliss seems to confirm that Russell isn’t playing Ahsoka, don’t be fooled. Ahsoka could’ve taken on an alias and gone rogue. In the image released of Zorri, we can’t see any of her skin, thanks to a helmet and gloves, so there’s a good chance the producers are hiding her orange Togruta flesh from fans.
7 A First Order commander
Richard E. Grant’s mysterious The Rise of Skywalker role, which many fans expected to be Grand Admiral Thrawn, was recently revealed to be a First Order officer, since some images were released from the film that show Grant in a First Order uniform.
It stands to reason that Keri Russell would also be playing a First Order officer. She reportedly shares a scene with Adam Driver in the movie, which is enough to get the fan theory ball rolling in this day and age, and her costume makes her look like a villain, so it makes sense that she would be playing an associate of the First Order.
6 A petty criminal
We know very few details about Keri Russell’s Star Wars character, but we do know that she resides, at least when we first meet her, in a place called the Thieves’ Quarter. Little is known about the Thieves’ Quarter other than the fact that it’s located on the planet Kijimi, but from the name of it, we can figure that it’s where thieves hang out, so Zorri Bliss might just be a common thief.
She’s also been described as a “scoundrel” in the official promotional material released by Disney, so for all we know, she is just a petty criminal who steals from people.
5 Boba Fett’s daughter
Based on the fact that Zorri Bliss’ costume looks like that of a bounty hunter and each of the past Star Wars trilogies have had a Fett in at least one of their movies, maybe Keri Russell is playing the long-lost daughter of Boba Fett.
Boba became a bounty hunter when the Jedi killed his father, Jango Fett, so maybe Zorri became a bounty hunter when the Rebels killed her father, Boba. J.J. Abrams has stated that his intention with The Rise of Skywalker is to tie together all the Star Wars trilogies with a satisfactory payoff. This is why Emperor Palpatine is back, and it could be why Zorri Bliss looks so much like a Fett.
4 Luke Skywalker’s ex
J.J. Abrams wants The Rise of Skywalker to tie all of the Star Wars trilogies together, so Keri Russell is probably playing a character who fills in some gaps in the story. In the Expanded Universe, which is no longer considered canon, Luke Skywalker’s future involved a wife named Mara Jade and a son named Ben Skywalker.
The writers of The Force Awakens have already plundered this and tweaked it to create Ben Solo, so maybe they’ll plunder it again by having Luke divorced from a woman named Zorri Bliss instead of still married to a woman named Mara Jade. Mark Hamill did recent confirm that Luke didn’t die a virgin...
3 A DJ-style traitor
Benicio del Toro’s character from The Last Jedi, who was referred to as “DJ” although he didn’t technically have a name, surprised no one when he betrayed our heroes. He was depicted like a bad guy – he spoke like a bad guy, he dressed like a bad guy – so there was actually very little mystery surrounding this supposedly mysterious character.
We knew he was going to betray the heroes from the moment he first appeared. Perhaps Keri Russell is playing a similar character, one with intrigue built around them who turns out to be as evil as they always seemed.
2 A surviving Jedi Knight
At the end of Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine’s first order of business as the newly elected ruler of the galaxy was to execute Order 66. This essentially meant turning the entire Clone Army against the Jedi Knights they’d been assigned to protect. Only a few Jedi survived, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda (and possibly Mace Windu), but there were other survivors that the movie didn’t cover.
Maybe Keri Russell’s Zorri Bliss is one of those obscure surviving Jedi. She could’ve been living on the fringes of the galaxy all these years to stay off the grid, and returns to the fight to get revenge against Palpatine for having all her friends murdered.
1 Rey’s mother
Since the Star Wars saga is all about family, fans have been desperate to know who Rey’s mysterious parents are since the beginning. There were a few hints seeded in The Force Awakens and then in The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren revealed that Rey’s parents were nobodies buried in the desert, so that was pretty disappointing.
Viewers are expecting J.J. Abrams to rectify this in The Rise of Skywalker with some definitive answers about Rey’s parentage. Perhaps Keri Russell’s character Zorri Bliss is Rey’s biological mother. We’ve never gotten a last name for Rey, so it could easily be Bliss.